It’s time to rally round… Whether it’s a huge Stars and Stripes flapping on the porch, or just a lapel pin, find a way to mark a unique day in a unique nation. Pay some respect to this notable national flag of the United States of America on National Flag Day!
History of National Flag Day
This important day can trace its roots back more than 100 years when United States President Woodrow Wilson, on May 30, 1916, issued a presidential proclamation declaring June 14 to be National Flag Day. Honoring the flag that now bears fifty stars and thirteen stripes, this day commemorates the day in 1777 when the approval for the first national flag was made. Though National Flag Day is not an official federal or government holiday, it is still an important time to celebrate.
Of course, the flag has gone through a few different iterations over the years. Originally containing thirteen stars and thirteen stripes, as the country grew, the flag changed. The most recent change was on July 4, 1960, when two more stars were added to celebrate the addition of two new states to the union: Alaska and Hawaii.
While the Fourth of July has become an all-around celebration of the birthday of America, National Flag Day has kept more of a local character, with traditions rooted in the township or the county, the city or the state capital. And much more than for family festivals, it feels right to be celebrating it with your team, club or class.
Every year, people are invited to discover their inner Betsy Ross and make their own versions of Old Glory, in everything from stained glass to potato prints to rows of flowers. The men who adopted the first flag, way back in 1777, could hardly have imagined it. Three cheers for all things red, white and blue with stars and stripes on National Flag Day!
How to Celebrate National Flag Day
Show some support for the meaning of the US Flag by celebrating National Flag Day with a variety of activities, including some of these:
Display an American Flag
One of the most important things to do on National Flag Day is to show a bit of American pride by flying a flag. Hang it on a pole on the outside of the house, raise one up a flag pole or place one on the desk at the office.
This is a great time to show a bit of patriotism and loyalty to the fifty white stars and thirteen red and white stripes. But remember, to adhere to the US Flag Code, if a flag is flown outside, it should be raised in the morning and taken down at sunset each day.
Visit the Betsy Ross House
The story goes that a woman named Elizabeth Griscom Ross, who was a seamstress for George Washington, was the person who made the first flag, commissioned by the president and two of his colleagues. The legend has been passed down through the Ross family for more than two centuries. Tourists can head over to the Betsy Ross House, located in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia, to take a tour of the place and learn more about the history of Old Glory.
Try Making Some American Flags
One interesting activity to enjoy in celebration of National Flag Day might be to get creative with some stars and stripes of your own. A variety of mediums could be employed, from watercolor or acrylic paints to crochet or knitting with yarn, it’s fun to see what ways a flag can take shape.
Parents and teachers can help school aged children or preschoolers using popsicle sticks, perler beads, paper plates or other crafting materials. Or just keep it simple with some white paper and some crayons or colored pencils. National Flag Day has never been so much fun!